Asian Tech Stock Weekly Summary (July 27 - August 2)

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 |  Includes: BIDU, CAJ, CHA, CHL, CHU, CYOU, DCM, ECLTF, EWJ, EWY, FJTSY, FXI, HTHIY, JASO, KYO, LDK, NTDOY, PWRD, QCOM, SFTBF, SKM, SNDA, SNE, SOHU, STP, TOSBF, TSL, YGE, ZTCOF
by: IRG Ltd

Japan

Hardware

  • Kyocera Mita Corp. (NYSE:KYO) entered into a share purchase agreement with Chungho Comnet Co., Ltd. to acquire all outstanding shares of the two document equipment distribution subsidiaries of Chungho, Chungho OAsys Co., Ltd. and Chungho Document Solution Co., Ltd. By acquiring these two companies as its own sales subsidiaries, Kyocera will be able to drastically enhance its sales activities in Korea which Kyocera has placed as one of its strategic countries in Asia and also strengthen its sales capabilities in Asia together with the Chinese and Indian markets.
  • Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) raised its group operating profit forecast by 10 billion yen (US$105.8 million). The upgrade is attributed in part to cost reductions, mainly in advertising and R&D, that are expected to result in 220 billion yen (US$2.3 billion) savings a year roughly 50 billion yen (US$528 million) more than its earlier target. With its office equipment business in the doldrums, however, overall sales are expected to drop 22 percent. The company plans to release next-generation copy machines in the second half of the year. But despite stepped-up marketing efforts in North America, a recovery in the copier business will take time as companies cut back on expenses, such as spending on color copies.
  • Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by an improvement in its struggling flat TV business, and said it was aiming to beat its official forecast and at least break even for the full year. Sony has fallen behind Apple's iPod in portable music, Nintendo in videogames, and is struggling to compete with Samsung Electronics in LCD TVs. But the company, which competes with Panasonic for the position of the world's largest consumer electronics maker, said that losses on flat TVs had narrowed in the latest quarter, bringing the business close to the break even level. The maker of Bravia flat TVs and Vaio PCs kept its operating loss forecast of 110 billion yen (US$1.2 billion) for the year to March 31, 2010.
  • Nintendo Co. (OTCPK:NTDOY) and Sony Corp. are facing mounting pressure to cut prices after sales of the motion-sensing Wii fell for the first time and PlayStation 3 shipments tumbled to a two-year low. Nintendo shares fell the most in three months after the Kyoto-based company said Wii sales plunged 57 percent and profit dropped 61 percent. Sony reported a second straight loss after PlayStation 3 shipments fell 31 percent. Microsoft Corp. said last week it sold 1.2 million Xbox 360 consoles in its latest quarter, the lowest in two years. Sony Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer and Nintendo President Satoru Iwata have spurned calls by game publishers and retailers to cut prices as the global recession drives down consumer spending. The stronger yen is also eroding earnings at Japanese electronics makers, making them less competitive relative to overseas rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co.
  • Hitachi (HIT) plans to absorb five listed units, as the loss-making conglomerate tries to pool its sprawling resources to turn a profit. The news and hope that this would prelude further consolidation lifted shares of the Japanese maker of industrial electronics along with its subsidiaries. Hitachi will launch tender offers as early as next month to buy the shares it doesn't already own in Hitachi Maxell, Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd., Hitachi Information Systems Ltd., Hitachi Software Engineering Co. and Hitachi Systems & Services Ltd. The move could cost Hitachi up to 300 billion yen (US$3.2 billion), including a premium on the units' share price.
  • Hitachi Ltd. has plans to merge a pair of system-related subsidiaries this October in a bid to strengthen its system development business. Hitachi Electronics Services Co. will absorb Hitachi HBM Co. on Oct. 1 and become the surviving entity. All of Hitachi HBM's employees are slated to transfer to the merged firm. Hitachi Electronics Services handles system maintenance for the Hitachi group and also supports the introduction of information technology equipment at small and midsize businesses. By merging it with Hitachi HBM, which has expertise in system building, the aim is to enhance customer convenience through one-stop service. Hitachi Electronics Services turned three of Hitachi's system development units into consolidated subsidiaries, further strengthening its ability to propose systems to small businesses. The merger is expected to result in such synergies as subcontracting system development work from maintenance customers. Hitachi HBM was spun off in 1984 in order to expand sales in the office computer sales division.
  • Fujitsu Ltd. (OTCPK:FJTSY) will aim to strongly boost its profits to record-highs in fiscal 2011 through March 2012 by expanding its overseas sales and restructuring its operations. The company said it is anticipating a record group operating profit of 250 billion yen (US$2.6 billion) on sales of 5 trillion yen (US$52.8 billion), unveiling an aggressive midterm target for the next three years. Its net profit is also expected to reach a record 130 billion yen (US$1.4 billion) in fiscal 2011 in what would be a dramatic turnaround from a group net loss of 112.4 billion yen (US$1.2 billion) logged during the business year that ended in March. Businesses are likely to hit bottom during the current business year, adding Fujitsu will aim to raise its operating profit to 200 billion yen (US$2.1 billion) by fiscal 2010 thanks partly to the sale of its hard disk drive businesses to Toshiba Corp. (OTCPK:TOSBF) and Showa Denko K.

Mobile/ Wireless

  • Dena plans to buy a majority stake in the operator of a Chinese mobile social networking site, the Nikkei reports. Dena plans to buy more than 50 percent in UK firm Waptx, which operates China's largest mobile social networking site with a local partner. Dena will buy 8.73 million shares in the company through a private placement. Dena plans to use the portal site's content and expertise to expand its own social networking business. Dena already operates a mobile social networking site in China, but has less than 1 million subscribers while the Waptx service has about 9 million users.

Telecommunications

  • NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE:DCM) reported fiscal first quarter results with 15 percent decline in its net profit to 147.4 billion yen (US$1.55 billion) from 173.5 billion yen (US$1.66 billion) given increased competition led to lower income from voice charges. Revenue dropped 7.3 percent to 1.08 trillion yen (US$11.4 billion), from 1.17 trillion yen (US$11.2 billion). The company maintained its forecast for the current fiscal year through March 2010, with revenues of 4.38 trillion yen (US$41.1 billion) and an operating profit of 830 billion yen (US$8.7 billion).
  • Softbank Corp. (SFBTF.PK) enjoyed gains on increased service fees and handset sales. The company said its net profit jumped 41 percent in the fiscal first quarter to 27.38 billion yen (US$287.9 million) from 19.37 billion yen (US$185.2 million) in the same period a year earlier as increased revenue from both usage fees and handset sales boosted its mobile phone operations. It was much better than a consensus projection for a 11.2 billion yen (US$117.8 million) profit compiled by data provider Thomson Reuters from a survey of 13 analysts. Operating profit climbed 27 percent to a record 108.3 billion yen (US$1.14 billion) from 85.09 billion yen (US$0.81 billion) a year earlier with profit from the company's core mobile communication operations rose 36 percent. Broadband and infrastructure operations were also strong, with profit rising 33 percent. Revenue for the same quarter rose 2.9 percent to 666.33 billion yen (US$7.0 billion) from 647.26 billion yen (US$6.2 billion). Softbank's net profit for the April-June quarter jumped 41%

Semiconductors

  • Tokyo Electron reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and raised its annual outlook as orders start to rise in the latest sign of a spreading recovery in the chip sector. Chip giants Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) and Samsung Electronics Co, which recently booked better-than-expected quarterly results, are looking to invest more in new generations of chips to cut costs and cement their lead in the industry. Although still weak, orders for machines to make faster semiconductors more than doubled from the previous quarter, prompting Tokyo Electron to narrow its operating loss forecast by 9.5 percent to 57 billion yen (US$598 million).
  • Renesas Technology Corp. and NEC Electronics Corp. will delay their plan to reach a merger agreement for a month until the end of August. The accord will be postponed because due diligence over their global production and sales bases spanning across Asia, Europe and the U.S. is taking longer than initially anticipated. Although discussions are ongoing on the investment ratio of the three major shareholders, Renesas, owned 55 percent by Hitachi Ltd. and 45 percent by Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and NEC Electronics, a chip unit of NEC Corp., will still aim to integrate their operations by next April.

Internet

  • Yahoo Japan Corp. (NASDAQ:YHOO) said net profit grew 0.4 percent from a year earlier in the fiscal first quarter, buoyed by the increased use of online advertisements to target female consumers. The company’s net profit for the April-June period rose to 19.24 billion yen (US$203.2 million), and is in line with its forecast of between 19 billion yen (US$200.7 million) and 20.1 billion yen (US$212.4 million) in net profit for the period. Operating profit for the period rose to 34.26 billion yen (US$361.9 million). Group revenue rose 3.17 percent to 67.64 billion yen (US$0.71 billion) from 65.56 billion yen (US$0.69 billion).
  • eAccess Ltd. (OTC:ECLTF) likely made a group pretax profit of around 1.8 billion yen (US$18.9 million) in the April-June period thanks to the acquisition of ADSL service provider Acca Networks Co. and smaller losses in its cellular phone business. The results would mark the telecommunications service provider's first pretax profit for the April-June quarter in three years. Sales appear to have declined 11 percent about 21.5 billion yen (US$0.23 billion) as low-priced data cards accounted for a higher proportion of the company's overall cellular phone hardware sales. The sales figures are in line with eAccess' initial projections. Operating profit is believed to have soared 43 per cent to roughly 5 billion yen (US$52.8 million). The absorption of Acca Networks helped eAccess reduce sales and administrative costs by consolidating its ADSL operations. In addition, losses at cellular phone unit Emobile Ltd. likely shrank by some 2 billion yen, with a net subscriber increase of nearly 40 per cent, or 262,000, sharply pushing up revenue. Net profit probably came to around 300 million yen (US$3.2 million), compared with a 2.8 billion yen (US$26.6 million) net loss a year earlier.

Media, Gaming and Entertainment

  • Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings Inc. will make an initial payment of 40 billion yen (US$420.1 million) to Rakuten Inc. in response to the virtual mall operator's request for a buyback of its TBS shares. After the breakdown of initial talks, the two sides sought court mediation to determine a buyback price. If the negotiations drag on for years, then TBS which is required by law to pay the interest it will owe Rakuten on the shares could end up incurring a huge interest burden. By making the temporary payment, TBS aims to hold down interest expenses. The broadcaster will tap bank loans for the funds to be paid to Rakuten.

Korea

Telecommunications

  • SK Telecom Co. (NYSE:SKM) said its second-quarter net profit rose 4.6 percent to 311.6 billion won (US$250.7 million) in the three months ended June 30 from 298 billion won from a year earlier despite higher marketing costs, mainly due to a rise in subscribers. Sales rose 4.7% to 3.068 trillion won (US$2.47 billion) from 2.93 trillion won (US$2.36 billion) because of an increase in the number of subscribers, largely from its wireless Internet data service. The company also said its capital expenditure amounted to 667.4 billion won for the first half of this year, including 319 billion won (US$256.6 million) spent in the second quarter to secure more profitable third-generation mobile services and improve call quality.
  • LG Telecom Ltd. reported its biggest profit decline in six quarters after the company boosted marketing spending to win customers from SK Telecom Co. and KT Corp. Second-quarter net income fell 43 percent to 38.3 billion won (US$30.8 million) from 67.6 billion won (US$54.4 million) a year earlier. Sales rose 5.7 percent to 1.33 trillion won (US$1.07 billion). LG Telecom and SK Telecom increased incentives to lure users before KT absorbed its wireless unit, KT Freetel Co., in June in a market where more than nine out of 10 people already own a mobile phone. South Korea’s communications regulator has said competition may ease in the second half after the three operators pledged this month to rein in marketing costs such as handset subsidies. LG Telecom accounted for 18 percent of the Korean mobile- phone market at the end of June, compared with SK Telecom’s 51 percent and KT’s 31 percent, according to government data.
  • SK Telecom Co. will sell its entire 15.3 percent stake in Virgin Mobile USA Inc. to Sprint Nextel Corp. Sprint Nextel said it would acquire Virgin Mobile in a US$483 million stock-swap deal. Sprint already owns 13 percent of the U.S.-based wireless services operator, and will buy out major shareholders Virgin Group and SK Telecom. Lauren Kim, a spokeswoman at SK Telecom, said that the company's stake in Virgin Mobile would be diluted to below 1 percent from 15.3 percent following Sprint's acquisition of the mobile operator.

Semiconductors

  • Samsung Electronics Co. said it plans to begin mass production of its latest and fastest chip model later this month. The company will begin production of its 2-gigabit DDR3 DRAM chip, based on its 40-nanometer technology, six months after it developed the world's first 40-nanometer chip. The company expects the new product will lower power consumption to 70 percent of that for 50-nanometer DRAM chips. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. The technology will also improve productivity by as much as 60 percent, as each DRAM chip will take up a smaller space on the production line. DRAM is a type of memory that stores each bit of data in a separate electronic component within a circuit. It is used in personal computers and other electronic devices such as mobile phones.
  • South Korea's antitrust watchdog fined Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) 260 billion won (US$208 million) for abusing its dominance in the local chipset market and ordered the global mobile chipmaker to end its "unfair" business practices. Qualcomm disagrees with the ruling and will appeal in a South Korean court against it. The fine imposed on the U.S.-based company was the largest ever levied against a single business by the Fair Trade Commission since it imposed a 113 billion won (US$90.6 million) fine on KT Corp. in 2005. The commission also ordered the U.S. chip maker to stop paying rebates to its customers and imposing higher royalties for those using chips supplied by its rivals. The company has offered discounts and incentives to customers for using its chips, which has contributed to the competitiveness of Korean handset makers.

Hardware

  • LG Electronics Co. is posting some of its strongest growth ever and taking market share from cellphone rivals. LG last year passed Motorola (MOT) Inc. and Sony Ericsson to become the world's third-largest seller of cellphones, shipping just over 100 million units, or about 8.6 percent of the global 1.17 billion. This year, with the overall cellphone market expected to fall more than 10 percent, some analysts predict LG's cellphone shipments will rise between 10 percent to 20 percent. The division's growth is expected to help LG post a profit when it reports quarterly results at a time that many consumer-electronics companies are struggling with deep losses.
  • Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. said its second-quarter earnings rose nearly nine-fold from a year earlier on high demand for mobile handset and TV components. Samsung Electro-Mechanics earned 76.6 billion won (US$61.2 million) in the three months ended June 30, up 791 percent. Sales rose 27 percent on-year in the April-June period to 1.316 trillion won (US$1.06 billion) with operating profit rising more than five times to 128.9 billion won (US$103.7 million).

China

Internet

  • Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) expects its new online market platform to help boost revenue this quarter as more advertisers migrate to the new system. Net profit for the three months to June rose a better than expected 44.6 percent to US$56.1 million, with revenue up 36.7 percent to US$160.7 million. Baidu forecast revenue for third quarter would grow 15 to 18 percent to of US$184 million to US$189 million, topping the US$182 million expected by Wall Street, according to Thomson Reuters.. The company would increase staff this quarter to boost the sales team for Phoenix Nest as well as its research and development team. Phoenix Nest, similar to Google's Adwords service, will gradually replace Baidu Bidding Rank and help rebuild the company's reputation after the Bidding Rank platform was accused of promoting fake medicine products. The firm served 203,000 active customers in the second quarter, and revenue per online marketing customer was 5,400 yuan (US$790.1), up 22.7 percent from last year.
  • Alibaba Group has forged a strategic long-term alliance with state-owned Bank of China Holdings to jointly pursue a range of e-commerce initiatives, including an online payment card, trust rating system and small-business financing. Jack Ma Yun, the chairman and chief executive of Alibaba, expected the partnership to directly benefit the small-business customers of the bank and the group's subsidiaries. These include online payments service Alipay.com, business-to-business e-commerce provider Alibaba.com, internet-based business-management software supplier Alisoft.com and Taobao.com, the country's largest consumer e-commerce provider.
  • Alibaba.com Ltd. is embarking on a reorganization that will separate the management of its domestic and international marketplaces, and step up cooperation between sister company Taobao.com and its domestic marketplace operations. The separation of management will allow the domestic and international platforms to further differentiate their strategies and user interfaces, among other things. Alibaba.com will also establish two new divisions aimed at helping its small-to-medium enterprise customer base gain access to information technology and employees trained to handle e-commerce.
  • Changyou.com Ltd. (NASDAQ:CYOU) posted total revenues of US$66.6 million for the second quarter of 2009, 39 percent increase year on year and 8 percent increase quarter on quarter. Operating profit was US$39.5 million, up 42 percent from the period last year and 4 percent from the previous quarter. Operating margin was 59 percent, higher than 58 percent in Q2 2008 but lower than 61 percent in Q1 2009. Net income reached US$34.5 million, growing 9 percent year on year and 3 percent quarter on quarter.
  • Sohu.com Inc. (NASDAQ:SOHU) reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates on higher revenue from Web advertising and online games. Second-quarter net income was US$30.9 million compared with US$40.2 million a year earlier and beat the median US$27.8 million of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s sales increased 25 percent to US$127.1 million, exceeding its guidance. Sohu, which in April spun off unit Changyou.com Ltd. in a US$138 million share sale, is speeding up development of its Internet search engine and adding videos and blog sites to lure users as competition rises from companies including Sina, Baidu said revenue will rise to a record this quarter as the nation’s economic growth helps boost advertising sales.
  • The number of internet users in China grew by 40 million in the first six months of the year to reach 338 million at the end of June, a figure higher than the entire population of the U.S.. The number of broadband connections rose by 10 million to 93.5 million in the first half. About 95 percent of townships were connected to the internet via broadband as of early June and 92.5 percent of all villages were equipped with telephone lines that connect to the internet. Third generation mobile phone technology is also expected to boost rural coverage.

Telecommunications

  • The telecom industry's average price levels in China had declined 8.5 percent year on year in the first half of this year. The industry's growth begun accelerating, even though it's still at a low level, dampened by the financial crisis. In the first half, the industry's business volume totaled 1,224 billion yuan (US$179.1 billion), up 11.8 percent year on year. It also registered 417.1 billion yuan in business revenue, edging up 2.3 percent. In regional terms, the industry's development in western region was more pronounced than in central and eastern China. The industry's revenues decreased 0.3 percent in eastern China year on year, but rose 2.6 percent and nine percent, respectively, in the central and western regions.
  • The number of newly-added phone users in China was 43.5 million in the first six months of this year. China had more than 1 billion telephone users by the end of June, boosted by the launch of the 3G network. In January, the country issued 3G licenses to the top three telecom operators, China Mobile Ltd (NYSE:CHL) China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd (NYSE:CHU) and China Telecom Corp Ltd (NYSE:CHA). The top three telecom operators have invested 80 billion yuan (US$11.7 billion) in China's 3G network so far this year. The ministry estimated that the top three operators would invest 170 billion yuan (US$24.9 billion) in 3G network construction this year.
  • Huawei Technologies said 3G mobile network sales in the first half exceeded total shipments last year on strong demand from emerging markets such as China and India. The company, which has emerged as one of the top equipment vendors in the global telecommunications market, is expected to gain market share in Europe with its newly launched multimode network solution, Lu Xingang. UBS global telecommunications equipment analyst Gareth Jenkins estimates global telecommunications capital expenditure will weaken this year and next, with total spending declining 2.7 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year.
  • ZTE Corporation (OTCPK:ZTCOF) has signed a cooperative agreement with the Japanese mobile operator Willcom to provide ZTE's 3G data card product MF633 to users in Japan. As the fourth largest mobile operator in Japan, Willcom is also the largest personal handyphone system operator in the country with 4.6 million users and great influence in the Japanese market. At the beginning of 2009, the two parties signed a memorandum of cooperation for Time Division Duplex technologies, including XGP, to implement close cooperation to boost market share in this industry.

Media, Entertainment and Gaming

  • China's mobile game market size hits 520 million yuan (US$76.1 million) in the second quarter of this year, up 32.37 percent quarter on quarter. Revenues from China Mobile's charges on information reached 230 million yuan (US$33.7 million), increasing 21.3 percent quarter on quarter. The company's quarterly growth rates of information fees in the first half of this year were over 20 percent, versus the -0.06 percent average quarterly growth in 2008.China Mobile's new game operating platform contributed most of the growth in its information fees, which topped 67.86 million yuan (US$9.9 million) in the second quarter, accounting for 30 percent of the total, while the growth of the old one slackened continuously.
  • Giant Interactive announced it will acquire 51 percent equity in Hangzhou-based Xuelang Software. Based on the acquisition, the 2.5D-view game Xiantu Online developed by Xuelang Software will join Giant's venture platform "Winning in Giant," while Giant invests 40 million yuan to promote the game through primary marketing activities. This comes as the fifth project housed under the "Winning in Giant" platform, which aims to provide free capital, management and other supports to talented online game R&D groups to fuel their online game development.
  • Giant Interactive plans to start alpha testing of its in-house developed 3D MMORPG Long Hun. More than 20,000 gamers activated testing accounts for Giant's in-house developed 3D fantasy MMORPG King of the Kings 3 on July 7, the first day of second-round testing, and the game hit 10,430 concurrent players on the same day. King of the Kings 3 entered first-round alpha testing on March 2008.
  • Shanda Games Limited (SDG) (NASDAQ:SNDA) will participate in the development of online game KOF World. SDG had reached an agreement with SNK Playmore, a Japanese game developer, on their cooperation. KOF World is the online version of The King Of Fighters, the heavyweight game software developed by Playmore. SDG is licensed to operate the online game in Mainland China and several other countries.
  • Perfect World (NASDAQ:PWRD) has not excluded the possibility of licensing foreign MMORPGs; before, the company had always focused on operating in-house developed games. Perfect World hopes to offer players other entertainment services besides online games. Perfect World took a step toward differentiating its business by establishing literature site zongheng.com last September, and investing in a webgame company and entering the film and video field this year. Perfect World had acquired a Chengdu-based webgame company and planned to release ten to twenty webgames in 2009.

Hardware

  • Kaifa, a part of China Electronic Corp. (CEC), would invest 50 million euros (US$71 million) in Finnish firm Elcoteq. The announcement came as Elcoteq, a supplier to firms including Nokia, posted an operating loss of 11.5 million euros (US$16.4 million) in the second quarter and sales more than halved to 436 million euros (US$619.9 million). The deal would make the Chinese company its largest shareholder with a stake of at least 30 percent. CEC has been Elcoteq's joint-venture partner in China since 2002. Elcoteq said the total size of the investment was dependent on it successfully restructuring its debt, with a final agreement expected to be signed in the third quarter. It was not immediately clear what stakes main owners Antti Piippo, Jorma Vanhanen and Henry Sjoman would keep.

Alternative Energy

  • China plans to subsidize demonstrative photovoltaic (PV) projects in the following two to three years through a program called Golden Sun. Each province is permitted demonstrative PV projects with a total capacity of 20MW. The government will subsidize 50 percent of total investment in PV power generation systems and power transmission facilities in on-grid projects, and 70 percent for independent projects.
  • JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd (NASDAQ:JASO) has received US$90.8 million under two three-year term loans from the Export-Import Bank of China. The loans carry interest rates below the benchmark rate set by China's central bank. The loans will strengthen its balance sheet and allow greater flexibility for financial and business planning. JA Solar's announcement comes as funding for solar power and green technology is beginning to recover from a dramatic fall-off earlier this year caused by the global credit crisis.
  • Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE:TSL) raised its estimates for second quarter photovoltaic (PV) module shipments and gross margin, citing a rebound in the global solar market and supportive government regulations. Trina also forecast second quarter net revenues in the range of US$148 million to US$152 million, representing a 12 percent to 15.1 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 25.6 percent to 27.5 percent drop from the year-ago period. The company expects second quarter PV module shipments to total 63-65MW. Trina issued module shipment guidance of 90-110MW for the third quarter of 2009 and reiterated full year expectations of 350-400MW. Gross margin was forecast at 26-28 percent, up from previous guidance of 18-20 percent; operating margin is expected to be 11.5 percent to 13.5 percent.
  • Yingli Group (NYSE:YGE) broke ground on its 6 billion yuan (US$878.1 million) Yingli Industry Park in Baoding, Hebei province. The park will include a 800MW per annum crystalline silicon solar cell project, with a completion date set for December 2010. After the project comes on-stream, Yingli will have a total annual crystalline silicon solar cell production capacity of 1,400MW, and will generate sales revenues of as much as 15 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) per year.
  • LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) expects to report a net loss of US$180 million to US$200 million in the second quarter of this year, which it attributed to the sliding market prices of wafers. The company increased its guidance to revenues of between US$225 million and US$235 million and wafer shipments between 230-240MW but anticipates a write-down of US$150 million to US$160 million. LDK's fourth quarter financial results included a US$216.7 million inventory write-down. The company later updated its FY08 and Q408 results to include an additional write-down of US$87.5 million and a US$12.3 million provision for unrecovered supplier prepayments.
  • Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE:STP) has entered into a strategic agreement with China Energy Conservation Investment Corp. (CECIC) to develop solar projects, including large-scale on-grid, urban building-integrated, rural off-grid, and wind-solar hybrid projects, over the next five years. CECIC plans to take charge of project investment and development under the partnership, while Suntech will supply solar products, system design and technical support. Suntech's previously announced projects in Qinghai, Shaanxi, and Jiangsu provinces, as well as Shizuishan, Ningxia province and Panzhihua, Sichuan province, may be developed through the collaboration.

Semiconductor

  • SMIC announced the successful commercial production of a 130nm family of DisplayLink USB graphics chips designed by DisplayLink and manufactured at SMIC. These new products make it possible to easily connect additional monitors, and provide a high level of integration for USB graphics devices, support higher HD display resolutions, and increase overall performance for smoother video playback.